Clark County

Fire damages home and car in Vancouver

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation after helping fight a fire that destroyed a friends' home on Z Street in Vancouver Thursday evening.

"We were coming down the hill, we saw the big black smoke the tree catches on fire," Mary Gentry said.

Gentry and her husband Walter Lewis made a split-second decision to drive toward the fire.

"My husband started grabbing the hose because the wind picked up and all that fire blew into her yard, so he started spraying the yard with the fire hose," Mary said. 

Lewis is going to be OK. 

The house, which belongs to one of the couple's friends, was badly scorched. 

Neighbors said high wind caused the flames to jump around quickly.

"The embers were catching fire, there were fires all over people's yards," Mary said. 

When firefighters arrived, the fire had severely damaged the home, spread to trees and engulfed two buildings behind the house and a car. 

"The wind did pick up and started blowing it and that can accelerate pretty quickly," Darrin Deming with Vancouver Fire said.

Firefighters also had trouble fighting the fire because there was so much inside the home. Crews were able to fight defensively to save surroundings homes.


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